Life of a Pitcher in the Frontier League By: Jonathon Coyle Lifestyle Topics “If you play in this league, you have to love the game, a lot.” - Dan Blewett • • • • Food Salary Hotels Clubhouses Food Money and Common Food Choices “I come back (home) at the end of the season feeling fat, and yet hungry at the same time. With just $20, you can’t go out and have a nice breakfast at a sit down restaurant. If you do, you just pissed away your meal money for the day. So, lots of guys stock up on gas station food, or end up getting something at the concession stand at the end of the game.” - Dan Blewett • Players get $20 for food each day • Players often get gas station food or concessions after games • Common gas station food choices include animal crackers, bags of chips, and other cheap but filling foods that do not spoil quickly Provided Pre-Game Food • PB+J sandwiches • Lunch meat (sometimes spoiled or moldy due to lack of refrigeration on the bus) Salary “If you aren’t financially smart, you will not be able to live with any luxuries.” - Dan Blewett talking about living on the baseball salary in the Frontier League • The average salary is $850 per month • Most players have a side job besides baseball Hotels “Most are ok at best.” - Dan Blewett explaining the average hotel conditions • Most in the middle of nowhere • “Shady figures” roam the halls at night • The air doesn’t work in some (can get up to 100° in rooms) • Worst hotels have bed bugs and/or lice • Rarely get a nice hotel Clubhouses • Conditions change based on if you’re home or away • Home clubhouses are sometimes up to 3 times bigger than the away clubhouse • Some clubhouses are so small the guys have to stand shoulder to shoulder while changing Physical and Mental Aspects of Pitching • Fastball “The baseball gods reward the pious.” - Dan Blewett saying that the player that works/trains the hardest will succeed more than the ones that don’t. • Breaking Balls • Arm strength exercises • Separation Factors between a good and great pitcher Fastball • Need to throw about 90mph • Need to have pinpoint precision with it (be able to hit an exact spot inside or outside of the strike zone Breaking Balls • Need at least two effective breaking balls • Most effective in the Frontier League are the slider, the curveball, and the changeup Slider Grip Curveball Grip Changeup Grip Arm Strength Exercises • There are many different exercises for arm strength • The best one is long toss (starting at a short distance and continually get farther apart from your partner until you can’t get it to them in the air) • You should play long toss 5-6 days a week • You should play for around 80 throws Separation Factors Between a Good and Great Pitcher “If you have a hitter with a long, loopy swing, you don’t throw him a curveball, you throw him a fastball inside” - Dan Blewett stressing the point of needing to be smart on the mound • Competitiveness (how bad you want to win) • Fearlessness (how much you trust your abilities) • Ability to be smart on the mound Other Information • Team Rosters • How to prevent arm injuries later on in your career Team Rosters • The average team in the Frontier League only has 11 pitchers • Lots of stress is put on the pitchers’ arms due to a little amount of pitchers and the number of games played in a season (88-90) How to Prevent Arm Injuries Later on In Your Career You should only develop your fastball and changeup until after high school because these pitches put less strain on your arm than other breaking balls such as the curveball while your arm is still growing/developing. For More Information Please Visit… • http://danblewett.com/ • http://frontierleague.com/ Special Thanks To… Dan Blewett for taking the time to answer my questions that provided the majority of the information in this presentation.